PSL has always been all the rage in Pakistan, and why not? It’s cricket, and we all live for it. However, there’s much more to the event than just cricket. So many people are employed in various roles because of this one “event” and it’s helpful to the economy. Sometimes, though, this employment can turn into exploitation, like this graphic designer who’s accusing a PSL team for stealing his work.
Bilal Ahmed, a freelance graphic designer, expressed how the relaunched team, Multan Sultans, had stolen his ideas for their logo without prior permission.
Talking about the entire ordeal, Bilal gave a bit of background as to how the initial process went for him when he was formally signed up:
“When Multan Sultans Marketing representative came to me at studio where I work and asked to reboot logos for Multan Sultans (Pakistan Super League) and Multan Legends (Super Boxing League). After weeks of hard work and labor they really appreciated my concept work for both PSL and SBL and asked me to hold it until Multan Sultans team gets out of managerial crises.”
The logo shows a silhouette of a “sultan” riding a horse with a bat in his hand, a very quintessential portrayal of the love of cricket that the people in South Punjab hold.
In the background is the famous landmarks from Multan, Derawar Fort and the tomb of Shah Rukn-e-Alam.
Bilal said that he was shocked to see his entire concept copied as it is when the new logos were revealed to the public, and that it was a breach of trust between clients and freelancers
“It is so sad but in fact a reality how educated people are doing these kind of senseless and shameful acts and bringing harm to industry by infringing rights and trust… There are thousands of freelancers and full time graphic designers working in studios putting so much efforts into their work and they should not be easily mugged from their intellectual property.”
Janoob ki hain yeh nayi Pehchaan, naam hain jin ka Multan Sultans! pic.twitter.com/RaYAaDfrsT
— Multan Sultans (@MultanSultans) January 14, 2019
However, the GM for Multan Sultans, Haider Azhar responded to the entire fiasco and presented their side of the story
I was tagged in a comment to a post by Mr. Bilal Ahmed today where he has alleged that his design was illegally copied…
He mentioned how Bilal Ahmed was never commissioned as a freelancer, but was rather working at one of the three agencies that the franchise approached to design the logo
“Faisal Mirza (COO Multan Sultans) and I reached out to three different agencies with a specific brief to revamp the logo of Multan Sultans. The brief was simple: a horse with a rider wearing a turban with a bat in hand. The agency Mr. Bilal works for was one of the agencies as well. We received sketches and digital versions of their concepts from these agencies and we paid all of them for the job that they did. For reference, I am sharing a rough sketch that was prepared by us along with the sketches we received from Mr. Bilal’s employers and a couple more agencies.”
Haider also stated that he works as a consultant for multiple teams, including a Multan based boxing team, Multan Legends, and so he also reached a couple of agencies to design a logo for them as well.
“Part of the brief for the logo was to have the tomb of Shah Rukne Alam in the background. The agency that Mr. Bilal works for was paid for the work that they did and there is no pending payment.”
He concluded by applauding Bilal Ahmed for being a wonderful designer, and by also putting in a receipt of the fact that he had been duly paid for all the work he had presented the franchises with.
“Mr. Bilal is a brilliant designer and I acknowledge that. His agency was commissioned for a job and was paid for it and the impression given that he was engaged as a free-lancer is also false. The final logo approved was submitted by another agency and we decided to go with their version and that is why him or his employers were not credited. For reference, I am also attaching the statement published by his agency as well.”
While Bilal Ahmed is yet to respond to Mr. Haider’s side of the story, it still raises a question about the presence of communication between the agencies and designers, and the role of the freelancing community in such an ordeal.
What do you think about the entire situation? Let us know in the comments.
Cover Image via Bilal Ahmed on Pakistani Freelancers / Facebook